McDonald's Corp. (NYSE: MCD) announced yesterday a fundamental Happy Meal change.
McDonald's Happy Meal -- a small meal for kids classically containing a toy in a puzzle-laden box -- first appeared in 1979. It generally contains an entree (hamburger, cheeseburger, or four-piece Chicken McNuggets), a drink (small soda or milk) and a small serving of french fries. The company is changing the Happy meal to reduce the portion of fries and automatically include fruit in the form of pre-packaged apple slices. The fries can be subbed for a double-portion of the apple slices.
The company has offered the apple slices as a choice since 2004, but only 11 percent of Happy Meal purchases took advantage of them, according to McDonald's. In including the apple slices automatically, the company " hopes to address a challenge children face in meeting the recommended daily consumption of produce," according to a company statement.
McDonald's said that it will begin rolling out its new version of the Happy Meal in September 2011, and intends for all of its 14,000 locations to be serving them by the first quarter of next year.
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